Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of the Army
Disposition: Protest denied.
Keywords: Technical Evaluation
General Counsel P.C. Highlight: It is the offeror’s responsibility to submit an adequately written proposal for the agency to evaluate.
Structural Associates, Inc. (SA) protests the award of a contract under a request for proposals (RFP) issued by the Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, for construction of improvements to aircraft fueling facilities.
The RFP contemplated the award of a fixed-price contract for construction services to the offeror whose proposal represented the “best value,” considering price, past performance and key construction subcontractor. The past performance factor included two subfactors: company specialized experience and quality of past performance. For the company-specialized-experience subfactor, the RFP required offerors to provide detailed information in 13 specific categories regarding at least three, but no more than five, recent, relevant projects. The RFP included a form that could be used as a template for providing the detailed information required; alternatively, offerors could provide the information required in a format of their own choosing. Offerors were required to provide information detailing: “Your Role and Construction Type Work Your Company Self-Performed” for each of the listed projects. The solicitation advised Offerors that the agency would perform a proposal compliance review to ensure that all required information had been included in the proposal. A contract would not be awarded to an offeror whose proposal had been assigned a deficiency.
The protester’s proposal received a deficiency where it failed to provide the “Construction Type Work your Company Self-Performed” on four of the five submitted projects, in accordance with proposal submission requirements in the RFP. The source selection authority determined that the agency could not make award to SA under the terms of the RFP.
SA asserts that its proposal did contain information describing the work that it had self performed. GAO states that in considering protests challenging an agency’s evaluation of proposals, it will not reevaluate proposals; instead, it will examine the agency’s evaluation to ensure that it was reasonable and consistent with the terms of the solicitation, and applicable procurement laws and regulations. Since an agency’s evaluation is dependent on the information furnished in a proposal, it is the offeror’s responsibility to submit an adequately written proposal for the agency to evaluate. Agencies are not required to adapt their evaluation to comply with an offeror’s submission, or otherwise go in search of information that an offeror has omitted or failed adequately to present.
Here, the overall evaluation was reasonable and consistent with the RFP. SA’s proposal included no clear indication as to the “Construction Type Work” it self performed. While SA asserts that the agency nevertheless could have deduced the work SA self performed by comparisons of the overall descriptions of the projects with statements of the subcontracted work, or by reference to general statements of accomplishment, GAO agrees with the agency that it simply was unclear from the proposal what “Construction Type Work” SA self performed on those projects. For example, SA notes that for a project for a fueling system and concrete airfield paving at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, the listing in the general “PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS” box stated as follows: “Placed 82,000 sf on concrete airfield pavement within an active airfield.” While SA asserts that this describes the work SA self performed, GAO finds reasonable the agency’s position that there is no clear, unambiguous indication from the proposal whether this work was self performed by SA or subcontracted. The protest is denied.